The holiday season is slowly becoming a memory. Most of us had the chance to break away and take that trip to the veld we’ve been planning, or visit that coast we’ve been itching to see. South Africa, especially during the peak of summer, is truly something spectacular to behold. If this chance has eluded you up until now, however, it doesn’t mean it’s over! In fact – for 4×4 drivers, it may just be getting started.
February, March and April make outstanding cross-country off-road tour months. The receding heat makes the journey more pleasant and, wherever you’re going, it’s going to be out-of-season- so you avoid getting caught in the holiday rush!
All you’ll need is to prepare your vehicle and book one of the famous early-year tours around Southern Africa, be it the Kalahari Kgalagadi, a Lesotho highland cruise before the snow sets in or a journey through the kingdom of Swaziland. Wherever you’re headed, keep these two tips in mind:
- Guard against breakdowns
Needing a tow truck on a 4×4 trail is not an ideal situation. Inaccessible roads and difficult terrain means that breaking down could stop your journey in its tracks for good. You probably understand the requirements of your vehicle in off-road situations better than anyone else, but always make sure you take additional parts and tools to keep you up and running. Keep a spare tire, spark plugs and fuses, a can of oil and a proper toolkit handy to cover basic breakdowns.
- Make sure you’re ready to face the elements
Travelling in higher altitudes can be a relentless journey, while heading west towards the deserts is challenging in a completely different way. Make sure that you prepare your vehicle for the specific circumstances you’ll be facing – and that you can spend a night there safely, too! Travelling long distances with a bakkie has the massive benefit of additional loading space, which any seasoned camper values highly. If you’ve decided to take yours out for a road trip, consider kitting it out with a custom built canvas canopy that can weather the biting mountain cold and the blistering desert heat in its stride.
These are excellent choices for long distance travelling, saving you weight (and, subsequently, fuel – especially when you’ll have to cover 200km to the nearest petrol station in Namibia or Botswana, for example). Durability is something you don’t have to worry about, either. Due to their versatile nature, these canopies can take a punch without cracking, splintering or breaking, like their fibreglass counterparts. Invest in a high-quality, high-durability canvas canopy to make sure your bakkie is ready for your journey this year, wherever it may take you!